Is Tuvalu Sinking Or Is Godaddy Just Slinging Mud?

Godaddy recently made waves by taking their anti-.tv rhetoric to a new level by including a hover blurb stating “the island nation of Tuvalu is sinking” and recommending other extensions.

Is .TV going away? It’s possible, but unlikely.

I’m not worried about .TV going away. Tuvalu may very well be threatened by global warming, but smarter people than I will need to determine that for sure. According the the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition that “fact” is under debate:

A tide gauge to measure sea level has been in existence at Tuvalu since 1977, run by the University of Hawaii It showed a negligible increase of only 0.07 mm per year over two decades It fell three millimeters between 1995 and 1999. The complete record can still be seen on John Daly’s website: http://www.john-daly.com.

From John Daly’s website:

Tuvula sea levels

So why is the number one domain registrar in the world slamming an extension that it’s sold tens of thousands of domain names under? Is there some altruistic notion guiding Godaddy in this decision to diss a popular ccTLD like .TV? Unlikely.

Godaddy has a financial stake in the .ME TLD and it’s success. After a botched launch the TLD is enjoying strong numbers, in part because of the heavy promotion that Godaddy has put behind it.

Interestingly, Montenegro, the country behind the .ME extension has a long and storied past under many names and a handful of different extensions including .YU and the never used .CS. Croatia, Serbia, Yugoslavia and now Montenegro. I’m not worried about .me going away, but it’s certainly a possibility with further evolution of area into yet smaller factions.

Doesn’t it seem odd that Godaddy would put so much emphasis on a ccTLD tied to a country with such naming instability during the last decade while in another breath they are telling the world not to register a domain under a TLD which has maintained the same name since it’s independence from the UK in 1978.

What else might be going on? Godaddy once sold .TV for as little as $14.99, which is well under the wholesale cost of the domain. I’m sure they were getting a significant incentive from the regsitry in order to do this. Now they are charging $39.99, which is at the high end of the price spectrum for a .TV domain. Why? Could they be pulling a Walmart and squeezing their supplier? Using their size to twist the arm of the registry to provide better pricing/margins to gain a competitive/financial edge over other domain name registrars? Possibly.

In the end Godaddy is doing what Godaddy does best’85 stir up controversy.


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